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Author Topic: YourFonts - Generate a font based on your handwriting  (Read 42348 times)
erwind
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« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2008, 03:26:07 PM »

I'm not sure if it's Ok to ask for help in this forum, so feel free to split this topic or ask me to take action.

I would like to allow people to also include other (mostly accented) characters. That would make a lot of people happy, especially non-English (read European) people. I've thought about it over the past couple of months, but to no avail...

It could be done by adding an additional template. So a font is then generated based on two completed templates. One as is right now (basic Latin characters like 0..9, a..z and A..Z), and the other one containing additional characters like:
ÀÁÂÃÄÅÆÇÈÉÊËÌÍÎÏÐÑÒÓÔÕÖØÙÚÛÜÝÞßàáâãäåæçèéêëìíîïðñòóôõöøÿŒœŠšŸŽž¡¥¦¨ª«¬­¯²³´µ·¸¹º»¼½¾¿ıŁłƒ×÷

Another approach is to let the user just draw the diacritical marks, and let the generation process build the accented characters by combining a (base) letter and a diacritical mark. I'm afraid most people will fail to draw the accents correctly. Besides it takes too much time to develop.

I'm curious about your opinions. I don't want to spent too much time on the additional feature, so if it proofs to be too complex them I'll just drop the whole idea. But honestly I hope one or more DC's are able to help me out  Wink
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 03:27:56 PM by erwind » Logged

Erwin Denissen
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« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2008, 03:34:51 PM »

I agree with your intuition that having users draw accents and then trying to combine them via software is unlikely to yield satisfactory results.

I think having an additional template makes sense.  Another approach might be to have a template where users can just draw any characters they want and specify explicitly what code point each of their drawn characters maps to.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2008, 04:31:41 PM »

I think having a second template for special characters and accented letters would be the best option.
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erwind
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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2008, 09:37:07 AM »

Thanks mouser and Deozaan!

I've made up my mind and will go for the additional template.

Here are the additional characters:
ÀÁÂÃÄÅÇĈÈÉÊËĜĤÌÍÎÏĴŁÑÒÓÔÕÖØŜŠÙÚÛÜÝŸŽàáâãäåçĉèéêëƒĝĥıìíîïĵłñòóôõöøŝšùúûüýÿžÆŒÐÞßæœðþµ¥¦¿¡×÷ºª¹²³¼½¾«»¬­¯¨´·¸

For my own convenience I've temporarily added the corresponding code points into the cells.



Then there are still 3 cells empty, so there is room for a couple more characters.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2008, 09:43:22 AM by erwind » Logged

Erwin Denissen
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« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2008, 10:45:51 AM »

I can imagine such huge amount of empty cells may scare people off. But no worries, only characters that are written down on the template(s) are added to the font, so if you only need a few characters, then only write those down.
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Erwin Denissen
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« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2008, 11:53:54 AM »

I'd not realised that the empty cells could be used; it's really good. embarassed (again)
« Last Edit: August 01, 2008, 12:17:49 PM by Dormouse » Logged
erwind
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« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2008, 12:35:50 PM »

I'd not realised that the empty cells could be used; it's really good. embarassed (again)
I'm not sure if we both understand each other. Can you please clarify your last post?
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« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2008, 12:54:23 PM »

I'd not realised that the empty cells could be used; it's really good. embarassed (again)
I'm not sure if we both understand each other. Can you please clarify your last post?

I suspect now I got it wrong again  embarassed embarassed, but i had taken these comments

Then there are still 3 cells empty, so there is room for a couple more characters.

But no worries, only characters that are written down on the template(s) are added to the font, so if you only need a few characters, then only write those down.

to mean that there could be user specified characters added to the font (even if it meant a bit of exploration to work out the keyboard entry for those items).

I see now that you meant that the empty boxes were null boxes (but that you could chose to fill them in the future) and that people could use just some of the boxes that were active, if they chose.

But it would be good to be able to define a few undefined characters. Of course, I could simply subvert a few of the specified boxes for that I suppose.
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erwind
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« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2008, 02:55:03 AM »

The characters that can be included in the font are all predefined. If you want more characters, or if you want to modify your font(s), then you should give FontCreator a try.
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Erwin Denissen
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« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2008, 07:44:06 AM »

Are all of the characters that are printed on a standard USA keyboard included?

Call me ethnocentric if you will, but those are the only ones I care about. embarassed smiley
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« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2008, 01:14:43 PM »

Are all of the characters that are printed on a standard USA keyboard included?

Call me ethnocentric if you will, but those are the only ones I care about. embarassed smiley

They are all included, but with the single page template you won't be able to write this sentence:
It's a naïve façade to ask for a piña colada with crème in a déjà vu café.
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Erwin Denissen
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« Reply #36 on: August 07, 2008, 06:16:22 PM »

Just wondering whether the beta period is still active. I thought maybe there'd be an announcement here, but there're already prices posted on the site so maybe I missed it?
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« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2008, 04:00:51 AM »

The beta period is still going on. On the site the logo still shows a tiny "BETA".

I've made some changes to the list of additional characters:

ÀÁÂÃÄÅĄÇĆĈ
ÈÉÊËĔĜĤÌÍÎ
ÏĴŁŃÑÒÓÔÕÖ
ŐØŚŜŠÙÚÛÜŬ
ŰÝŸŹŻŽàáâã
äåąçćĉèéêë
ęƒĝĥıìíîïĵ
łńñòóôõöőø
śŝšùúûüŭűý
ÿźżžÆŒÐÞßæ
œðþµ¿¡«»¬²

With these additional characters, it should cover:
English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Swedish, Czech, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Basque, Estonian, Faeroese, Frisian, Irish, Galician, Hungarian, Icelandic, Albanian and Esperanto

Note: this additional template page is not available yet, I'll let you know as soon as it is available.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 06:09:11 AM by erwind » Logged

Erwin Denissen
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« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2008, 05:48:50 AM »

To erwind:

Just at a brief look--definitely not Czech. For example these characters are missing:

ěřťňůĚŘŤŇŮ

and some others for Slovak. Do you want me to analyze it thoroughly?
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erwind
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« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2008, 06:08:53 AM »

Thanks for letting me know, I guess I was a bit too optimistic  embarassed . I'll remove it from the list, as it is not possible to include the missing characters without adding another page, and that is out of scope right now.
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Erwin Denissen
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« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2008, 06:34:42 AM »

what about my suggestion of letting user add as many custom pages they want, just drawing characters and then specifying the code point values manually for each character.
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erwind
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« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2008, 08:12:17 AM »

mouser, you suggestion might be something for a future release. Right now I want to keep the software as easy and simple as possible, as it is aimed at hobbyists. If more people  indicate such feature would be a great addition, then I'll certainly add it.
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Erwin Denissen
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« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2008, 09:59:42 AM »

The beta period is still going on. On the site the logo still shows a tiny "BETA".

Sorry -- I'm not sure how I missed that. Thanks!

I noticed that clicking on the Gallery link from the complete.html page gets me this:
  • Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in C:\wamp\www\gallery.html on line 1
« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 10:23:42 AM by Cavalcader » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2008, 03:24:39 AM »

I noticed that clicking on the Gallery link from the complete.html page gets me this:
  • Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING in C:\wamp\www\gallery.html on line 1
Oops, missed that one. Thanks for letting me know.
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Erwin Denissen
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« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2008, 06:10:17 AM »

Glad to help -- hey, that's what BETA is all about.  smiley
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« Reply #45 on: August 15, 2008, 03:09:16 AM »

The additional template page is now available. Please give it a try, and let me know if it works. If things are not obvious or can be improved, do let me know. Thanks!

http://www.yourfonts.com/

The service is still in beta, so generate your fonts for free with this coupon:
YourFont2008
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« Reply #46 on: August 15, 2008, 09:35:29 AM »

I just tried one. (Very cool service BTW!) I ran into 3 main problems.
  • Through trial & error, I found that the upload process doesn't recognize apostrophes in the Font Name field. It also gave a very cryptic error message ("Please check your inputs"). It probably needs something more like "Please change something in the text you typed on this page. There are characters we don't recognize." The name I used was something along the line of "Fred's Handwriting" (without the quotes). I removed the apostrophe in the font name and the space too, just in case.
  • Same thing during the upload -- the filename "Fred's Handwriting.png" (without the quotes) got me "A database error occured. We can't find your upload. Please try again." It's a much clearer error message (aside from the word "occurred" needing to have a second "R") but an apostrophe is a legitimate character in a Windows filename -- dunno about other systems.
  • Finally, for the copyright notice I added the copyright © symbol to follow the full legal notice format, but it comes out as two squares in the final font file. That may be a Windows limitation related to the font used to display the TTF contents, but if that's the case you might want to insert a "(c)" in the textfield template instead.
  • On a related note, I don't think I saw anywhere on the website that the font is created in TrueType format. I could be wrong, though, because I'm just going by what I remember seeing.

All in all, the font came out quite nice. I did use a 300 DPI PNG file, which came out to be about 1.5 megs, so it didn't take long to upload. I can see I have to work on the horizontal positioning of a few characters, so maybe version 2 of the web app would permit tweaking after recognition.  smiley
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 09:56:20 AM by Cavalcader » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: August 18, 2008, 03:18:01 PM »


I just tried one. (Very cool service BTW!) I ran into 3 main problems.

Thanks Cavalcader for this most valuable feedback Thmbsup Several users reported the issues you mentioned, but unfortunately again and again without enough information for me to reproduce and fix the bugs. Your post allowed me to make the online service even more rock solid! I still need to find a way to allow people to use the copyright symbol, but that's just a matter of time ;-)

  • On a related note, I don't think I saw anywhere on the website that the font is created in TrueType format. I could be wrong, though, because I'm just going by what I remember seeing.

Actually the generated font is an OpenType font with TrueType outlines. Not a fancy OpenType font that contains OpenType Layout Features, but still an OpenType font. This discussion gives more insight into the difference between TrueType and OpenType.

All in all, the font came out quite nice. I did use a 300 DPI PNG file, which came out to be about 1.5 megs, so it didn't take long to upload. I can see I have to work on the horizontal positioning of a few characters, so maybe version 2 of the web app would permit tweaking after recognition.  smiley

That's not on the to-do list. So for now I suggest you either open your template in your favorite image editing software, and move the drawn characters up or down a bit, or use FontCreator to further improve your font.
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Erwin Denissen
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« Reply #48 on: August 18, 2008, 08:56:31 PM »

Your post allowed me to make the online service even more rock solid! I still need to find a way to allow people to use the copyright symbol, but that's just a matter of time ;-)

That's great to hear! (Both.) Please post a note here once you make progress with the (c) symbol and I'll give it another shot.


Quote
Actually the generated font is an OpenType font with TrueType outlines. Not a fancy OpenType font that contains OpenType Layout Features, but still an OpenType font.

Interesting! I was just going by the TTF filename extension. I hope that doesn't make it harder to find an editor that'll let me tweak the results. I'll read the page you linked and see what I can learn.
 

Quote
Quote
I can see I have to work on the horizontal positioning of a few characters, so maybe version 2 of the web app would permit tweaking after recognition.
That's not on the to-do list.

Ever? No problem, then -- I'll dig up an editor somewhere. I think I've got one in my downloads dir. smiley
« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 08:58:29 PM by Cavalcader » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: August 25, 2008, 11:07:17 AM »

That's great to hear! (Both.) Please post a note here once you make progress with the (c) symbol and I'll give it another shot.

Well do give it another try, as it should now be possible to name the font the way you like. But do keep in mind Windows might be confused if you name your font '@@' or ''''.

Interesting! I was just going by the TTF filename extension. I hope that doesn't make it harder to find an editor that'll let me tweak the results. I'll read the page you linked and see what I can learn.

Great! Do give FontCreator a try and let me know if you like it!
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Erwin Denissen
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